A message from the present

26 Feb

The partnership between a person and computers in writing literary works – or creating any other works, in all lenses – seemed to me then and still seems to me today both inevitable and exciting.
In some ways, computers, fed into verbal programs, should not be referred to at this stage as more than sophisticated typewriters. But sophisticated typewriters should not be underestimated, with the sophisticated available (including the most elaborate trams), still a frustrating proximity to the stylus and feather, just as the existing motor vehicle, with all its sophistication, is no more than paraphrasing on the wagon.
I believe and hope that in the future we will write more and more on terminals and less and less on typewriters (in pen I stopped writing as early as seventeen) and that more sophisticated verbal programs will be written. Maybe in the not too distant future we will have the option of ticking a line – ticking a page, ticking a page – and ticking a book.
The process of creation was never the same to me as physical work, but to a minimum, to its absolute abolition. What matters is the idea, the model, the flashing, the opening sound, the code.
I always wanted to write mostly ciphers, and to a certain extent I did too. Computer ciphers will be the authors of future transcripts, and we will be the guiding and guiding eye. As with the desirable separation between decision-making processes and the administrative-administrative complexity in management models, so too is an increasingly clear separation between the right decision (which is the act of creation) and its execution. The work will become a work of creation.

[from My Electronic Psychiatrist (1974) by David Avidan]

In Avidan’s spirit, the above is a raw unedited output of Google Translate of the Hebrew source. I was so amazed by Avidan’s prediction/prophecy, that I appropriated some paragraphs as the abstract of my upcoming performance-lecture Electric Hebrew on compter generated/assisted text composition. As this future is happening now, it is only appropriate to conclude with Avidan’s Message from the Future (1985/3005):

 

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